By MaryLynne Rimer, NGAS Coordinator

The Neighbourhood Garden of All Sorts (NGAS) is growing! Lettuce, chard, peas and herbs are up and producing. We have eighteen beds and about 25 gardeners including couples and children. Many thanks to LifeCycles Project Society and all who have supported the development of this new garden.

Our journey started when the NGAS gardeners were informed they would no longer be able to garden on Michigan Street due to the land being sold. The lack of available private land to relocate the garden took them to the City of Victoria and a process of identifying possible spaces. In March 2015, a small group of gardeners began to imagine how we could grow food on the boulevard on MacDonald Park. We worked to develop a submission and gain City Council approval. The process included consultation with neighbours, and presentations to the James Bay Neighbourhood Association Land Use Committee and at a General Meeting.

In September, the submission went before Council and was approved unanimously. A License of Occupancy Agreement was signed by LifeCycles Project Society in December, 2015.

By March 2016, we were able to bring together the resources to build a garden including grants from the City of Victoria, TD Bank, and the Parks and Recreation Foundation of Victoria. In addition, Jawl Properties provided generous in-kind support for raised beds, Camosun College Construction students built the shed and beds on site and Gravel Mart delivered soil at no cost for the delivery. Gardeners worked alongside assisting where they could including moving the soil into the beds. 

By April, almost all the beds were planted. We have had many neighbours and visitors stop to admire the garden and chat with gardeners.

Now, we’re ready to celebrate with the James Bay Community and all those individuals, businesses and organizations that were instrumental in making it happen. Please come join us for our Opening Celebration on Saturday, July 23 from 1 – 3 pm across the street from White Eagle Hall on the boulevard of MacDonald Park.